Spring is right around the corner so it's time to start thinking about protecting your lawn from Crabgrass! There are many products out there that are said to make and keep your lawn healthy all year round. It can be overwhelming to know who to trust and what products to apply.
Crabgrass protection is something that should be applied to your lawn every year. Here in New England, there are laws that dictate when you can apply certain products on your lawn. Be sure you know the type of products you're putting down and when you can apply them otherwise you may be fighting crabgrass all year or worse.
What Is Crabgrass?
Crabgrass is a lawn weed that grows all over in the North Shore summer heat. This is an annual weed, which means that it spreads by seed, as opposed to spreading through roots. It is able to grow anywhere in your lawn that has access to water and sunlight, including bare spots.
Crabgrass Has No “Due Date”
The truth is there is no “due date” as to when crabgrass protection can be applied. Many times we are told by customers, “If my crabgrass isn’t applied by this date, I was told I will get crabgrass.”
Crabgrass does not come by a certain day of the month each year; it is solely based on soil temperature. It begins to germinate when the average daily soil temperature reaches 57 to 64 degrees at the absolute earliest.
Getting soil temperatures may not be the easiest way for you to decide if it is time for crabgrass protection to be applied. An easier way is to look for flowering plants, trees, and shrubs to begin blooming.
When soil temperatures begin rising to high enough levels for crabgrass to even consider germination, flowering trees will be in full blossom.
The best way to rid your lawn of grabgrass is to not have it in the first place by using a pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergent herbicides are meant to stop the crabgrass before it emerges from the soil. But if you apply the pre-emergent too early or too late, the crabgrass will not be controlled throughout the entire season.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to get 100% control over crabgrass or any other weed. If you do see any pesky weeds, you can touch up your lawn throughout the summer with post-emergent.
Applying post-emergent herbicides to crabgrass that pops up on your lawn will take care of those spots but not prevent other growth during the season.
Other Crabgrass Preventers
There are some other lawn care practices that can help with preventing crabgrass and other weeds, all while still benefiting the health of your lawn.
Because crabgrass (like all weeds) likes to grow in bare spots in your lawn, overseeding your lawn will help to fill in those small spots and thicken that area of lawn, making it more difficult for weeds to come through.
Tip: do not treat the new seeds with a pre-emergent herbicide. This will prevent the new grass from growing.
Fertilizer gives your lawn the food that it needs to be as healthy as possible. If your grass is lacking nutrients, it will be a lot easier for crabgrass and weeds to grow.
If your lawn has a lot of foot traffic during each season, it may be compacted and need core aeration. This will help relieve soil compaction and weed prevention.
Water and Mowing
Making sure you are mowing and watering your grass correctly also makes a huge difference. You want to mow your grass at about 3 to 3.5 inches during the summer as this helps to retain more water and shade to the roots. Watering regularly helps block out crabgrass and other weeds.
Certified, Trained Lawn Care Professionals
Hiring a professional lawn care service not only saves you time, but it saves you from the worry of when to apply a specific product. Your certified lawn care technician will work with you to get you the healthiest lawn possible.
If you're looking for more information on crabgrass protection or are just ready to speak to someone about your lawn care needs, go to Grassmaster Plus or call (978) 769-3595 today!